Sydney Bauman saw an opportunity, and she took it.
The 6-foot-2 Glenbard South sophomore played her best varsity game to date, scoring 14 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and blocking 3 Timothy Christian shots in Tuesday night's 43-33 girls basketball victory in Glen Ellyn.
"I got a really good pin," the second-year varsity player said, "my footwork was good and my teammates, I was like, give me the ball, and they gave it to me. It was really good communication on both parts. Working through our offense is what we need to do against a shorter team."
"She had a fantastic game," coach Julie Fonda added. "Yesterday we talked about their lack of height, and she was excited. She was excited to have the opportunity, and she made the best of it. Her teammates did a great job of getting her the ball, Theresa Scheet in particular. She did a nice job of creating space and making passes happen. Tomei (Ball) also."
Each team shot well in the first quarter, but the Raiders began to pull away a little in the second, going to halftime with a 25-20 lead.
Things went bad for the Trojans when senior Stephanie Kuiper was whistled for her fourth foul just two minutes into the second half, and after Ball made a pair of free throws after the foul, the Raiders led 31-22. The Raiders' lead peaked at 12 points in the third quarter with Kuiper on the bench. She eventually fouled out with 7:13 to play in the fourth quarter and Glenbard South leading 38-27.
"That helped us a lot, getting (Kuiper) in foul trouble," Fonda said. "She's a great player, does a nice job of an up-and-under and exploiting that. Putting her in foul trouble really helped us."
"She played maybe half a game tonight," added Trojans coach Ryan DeKoekkoek. "And she was rolling early in the game, getting good touches. So we really got nothing out of the post. That hurts us when you're relying on guards to do everything. That's tough."
The Raiders (4-2, 1-0) put extra emphasis on the Metro Suburban Conference opener for both teams, remembering the Trojans (1-3, 0-1) beat out the Raiders for the league title last winter.
"I wanted revenge for last year," Bauman said. "I just think that we're better than them, flat out, and that we can do it this year. We've got the talent."
Despite the loss DeKoekkoek was encouraged by what he saw after a slow start to the season.
"Right now we're trying to form an identity," DeKoekkoek said. "When you lose seven seniors and five of them played significant minutes for you, one's the conference MVP, one's first-team all-conference, you've got to find new players. Right now we're trying to find out who those players are going to be. I know it's rough because you don't want to use games to do that, but this group needs games. I thought tonight we competed better, I thought we played better."